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New Guidelines on Entering Public BU Spaces

by Amanda Willis

In order to create a safer, healthier environment, President Brown has implemented new rules for students who want to access any public spaces on campus.

From the start of the semester, Boston University has required daily screening surveys, COVID-19 testing twice a week, LfA and a myriad of other social distancing techniques to keep students safe during this pandemic.

How do these new rules affect students living near campus who have elected to make their LfA status completely online?

Being a completely online student (even when living near campus) is defined on the Student Link as “attending class remotely only and not coming to campus for any other purpose.” Students under this umbrella still had access to some public spaces before the new guidelines.

In an email from President Brown, it was stated that these students must get tested regularly and do their screening surveys daily if they want to enter, per the email, “dining halls, the George Sherman Union, and several other public spaces on our campus.” Areas that did not require scanning in with a green badge are now changing their policies to heighten BU’s response to COVID-19.

Despite living five minutes from the George Sherman Union, Andrea Chen (COM ’21) decided to set her status as fully online because she felt overwhelmed by the frequent testing, especially since her classes are all online and she only planned on being either at home or studying in the GSU.

The GSU bustled with students who were looking for a place to hang out outside of their dorms. Especially since dorms are no longer allowing visitors. Common spaces, like the ones now requiring badges, served as a place that offered a figurative sense of community.

For some, like Andrea, “just sitting in the GSU and being surrounded by fellow terriers made me feel less alone.” As an online-only student, her badge did not allow her into most spaces, like Mugar Memorial library, but she did have some leeway until the Oct. 20 email was sent out.

Jenny Han (SHA ’22), an off-campus student, likes being home, but also enjoyed the ability to enter socially distanced spaces sans green badge—which she could not get being a fully online student (on the Student Link).

“I do see this as a step in the right direction due to the uptick in cases,” she said. “It will definitely be good damage prevention to add an extra layer of protection for students, given just having had Halloween and people partying.”

“We pay a steep price to live under such safe conditions, so these new guidelines are just another privilege we are afforded,” Chen said.

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